Pregabalin Dose Instructions

Pregabalin Dose Instructions

An appropriate pregabalin dose depends upon the medical condition you are using this painkiller for. Epileptic seizures may be more severe and frequent that neuropathic pain and so the amount of therapeutic required may be more. There are also two forms of this medication, the immediate-release and extended-release formulated pregabalin tablets.

The immediate-release formulation releases the main ingredient rapidly and the effects will be experienced in short-term. The extended-release is slow acting; the therapeutic is released over a period of time thereby allowing the effects to be prolonged.

The dosage indications (immediate-release forms) are as follows:

Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain

Initial dose: 50 mg every 8 hours
Maintenance dose: may increase to 100 mg every 8 hours (after one week of administration, use on an as-needed basis
Maximum: 300 mg per day

Postherpetic neuralgia

Initial dose: 150 - 300 mg every 8-12 hours
Maintenance dose: may increase to 100 mg every 8 hours (after one week of administration, use on an as-needed basis
Maximum: 300 mg per day

Fibromyalgia

Initial dose: 75 mg every 12 hours
Maintenance dose: may increase to 150 mg every 12 hours (after one week of administration, use on an as-needed basis
Maximum: 450 mg per day

Neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury

Initial dose: 75 mg every 12 hours
Maintenance dose: may increase to pregabalin 300 mg every 12 hours
If there are no observable benefits after using this dosage for 2-3 weeks, it may be increased to 600 mg/ day

Partial onset seizures

Initial dose: 150 mg every 8-12 hours
Maintenance dose: may increase to suit needs of the patient
Maximum: 600 mg per day

When using the extended-release formulations, dosing considerations may be taken into account. A 75 mg total daily dosage of Lyrica immediate release is equivalent to 82.5 mg of the extended-release form. This may be appropriated to find similar dosages.

How Long Does Pregabalin Last?

The onset of action of pregabalin varies. The active ingredient may be detected in the blood at peak levels following two to three hours after administration. Improvements can only be noticed after a specified period of time:

Sleep disturbances due to nerve pain: one week
Neuropathic pain: 2-3 weeks
Partial onset seizures: a few weeks - usually 3-5

Some of the factors which determine the efficacy of a medication or how quick the benefits can be observed include:

  • The size, gender and muscle content of the user
  • Their medical history (eg. If they are using other types of medicines)
  • Method of administration
  • Type and quality of pharmaceutical (like the brand)

The time taken for the tablet or capsule to reach the stomach may also affect the efficacy and onset of action. For the medication to be processed it has to reach the stomach, pass to the liver and then enter the bloodstream. It is for this reason that drinking sufficient water is essential.

How Long Does Pregabalin Stay in Your System?

The half-life of pregabalin / Lyrica tablets is generally about six hours. Half-life refers to the time taken for your last pregabalin dose to be halved in strength (in the body, when half of the substance is expelled).

This medication is absorbed quite rapidly and it can last in your system for approximately 12 to 33 hours.

Pregabalin may even be detected in the bloodstream 2 days after your last dosage. This is lengthier for detection in the urine.

The main ingredient can last for a few days in the urine of the patient. Detection of pregabalin the hair is the most prolonged. In the hair, the main ingredient can be detected after 90 days.

These time frames are dependent on your age, body weight, kidney function, hydration level, urinary pH and treatment schedule and duration. For some, pregabalin may remain longer in the system and for others, it may be removed from the body quicker.

Pregabalin Withdrawal Symptoms

Pregabalin Withdrawal Symptoms

When using pregabalin for a longer period of time than advised, tolerance or dependence is possible. In any of these cases, when the medication is stopped (especially abruptly), the onset of withdrawal symptoms is a likely event.

Tolerance and dependence

These symptoms can range in severity. It is dependent on how long you were using the medicine, the pregabalin dose and if you were misusing any other types of substances. The withdrawal symptoms may range from relatively non-threatening, to more severe:

Non-threatening/mild -

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Mood changes
  • Diarrhoea

More severe/fatal -

  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Cardiac problems
  • Overdose
  • Addiction

In the case of addiction, it may be more difficult to wean off the medication. Treatments can include:

  • A professional treatment or detoxification facility
  • Hospitalisation
  • Inpatient or outpatient facilities

How to Come Off Pregabalin Safely?

Acute withdrawal symptoms can last for one to two days. But the residual symptoms may last for much longer. A safe protocol to discontinue pregabalin treatment is important as it eases the intensity of the symptoms associated with withdrawal.

The duration of withdrawal may be prolonged in cases where the pregabalin dose is excessive and/ or the treatment period is long-lasting. This type of information is used for a medication tapering schedule to be designed for each specific individual.

Medication tapering is also known as gradual tapering (or gradual dose reduction). It is the routine of dose reduction over certain periods of time so as to safely stop using a medication. This is often a practice used in the skilled nursing setting. Gradual tapering is especially important in the elderly as seniors are at a higher risk for side effects.

A successful and safe gradual dose reduction routine is related to an accurate history of the patient and their current behavioural patterns as well. One approach to structure a routine with the proper dose reduction and intervals between dose reductions involves the kinetics of the medicine, which includes the half-life and time to steady state.

At times a taper may have to be paused and then resumed when the patient is ready. This pause in the tapering schedule allows the patient to adjust and acquire new skills for the management of their symptoms, introduction to new medicines and the initiation of other treatments, whilst physically adjusting to the new dosage.

Tapers can be considered successful as long as the patient is making progress, even if it may be slow, to reaching a safer pregabalin dose or if the dosage has been reduced to the minimal amount required.

Check out the following link for more information about painkillers - or read more in the blogs below!

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Updated: 27th January 2021
Review Due: January 2022

Steve

ABOUT STEVE

Fueled with a passion to try and help people less fortunate than himself Steve immersed himself in the medical industry. By researching new and innovative medical advancements and regularly sharing important information on social media Steve intends to make a difference where it matters most, people's health. His wealth of knowledge and keen eye for detail will help keep our readers informed and contribute towards improved health.

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